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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  June 23, 2010 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT

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breaking news on msnbc. welcome back. we are waiting for word on the fate of general stanley mcchrystal. will he keep his job? the top u.s. commander in afghanistan met with president obama for a b half an hour at the white house this morning. he was there to explain his scathing published comments about the white house and handling of the war. the firestorm is erupting at a
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pivotal moment there. u.s. and nato forces gearing up for a major offensive against the ta the taliban. president obama is meeting with his national security team at the white house. nbc's mike viqueira is at the white house. jim miklaszewski is at the pentagon. nbc chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell working her sources for the latest. also, joining us, military panel. general barry mccaffrey, colonel jack jacobs. let me start with you, mike. now that we heard this meeting is under way, who is there and maybe more importantly, who is not there. >> that's the question. we do not know if general mcchrystal returned to the white house for the afghan/pakistan meeting. we know precious little about the general's fate as far as him conning it is a nato supreme commander of the allied forces in afghanistan. you outlined the bare facts. that's when we know here. 9:51 in washington. general mcchrystal sat down one on one in the oval office with
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president obama after the disparaging and even insulting comments with the "rolling stone" article from general mcchrystal and aides attributing some of their comments to general mcchrystal. it was not even only president obama who came in for the worst of it. vice president biden and am bass tore holbrook and national security adviser james jones. all of them coming in for -- coming in under the scathing criticism and all of them participating either personally or by video phone at this meeting that's now under way in the white house situation room. this meeting takes into consideration sort of status check, regular meeting, what's happening in afghanistan and pakistan and it happens every month in "the situation room." if general mcchrystal were not there, that would really be something. considering he's obviously the individual in charge of executing the president's military policy. general mcchrystal now, his fate hangs in the balance and we wait to hear from the president and expect to hear from him at the
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conclusion of the meeting on his decision of general mcchrystal. one thing, he went into that meeting we were told time and time again the president had not made up his mind. >> we still don't know if he made up his mind. mik, let me go to you. had a brief chance to talk to general mcchrystal. he came and went from the pentagon and what can you tell us at this point in time? >> general mcchrystal arrived here at the pentagon 8:00 this morning. just seconds actually before a scheduled meeting with secretary of defense robert gates. and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, admiral mike mullen. i just happened to be on the steps and he came up the steps and, you know, greeted each other and then -- i asked him if he had already submitted his resignation. and because there had been reports to that effect and he didn't hesitate and said come on, you know better than that. no. and then i said, will you and by this time he was gone and up the stairs to that meeting. so it didn't appear at that point that the general was in retreat. of course, he was talking to just a mere reporter as opposed
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to the president or secretary. so who knows what went on in that meeting. you know, general mcchrystal at this point may not even know the outcome of his fate after this meeting with the president. we are starting to hear increasing rumors around this building that the president may not even announce his decision today. that he may put it off at least another day before he announces mcchrystal's fate. >> does that lead us to presume everybody in that meeting is weighing in right now? >> that could be. and we don't know if mcchrystal is in that meeting. everybody saw him leave the white house off the west exec drive entrance. but nobody saw him return. i guess he could have somehow. i don't know how. but he could have. he he may be in that meeting or he could be participating in that meeting via a teleconference here from the pentagon. nobody saw him return to the pentagon. it is a big mystery as to where mcchrystal is now exactly. and if, in fact, he is in -- pr taste pating in that meeting. if he's not participating, if
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you read the tea leaves it would suggest that the president already made his decision not to send mcchrystal back to afghanistan. that's only speculation. we are not saying that happened. but, you know, if -- if he is participating in the meeting, that would suggest otherwise. but, again, it is all speculation at this point. >> and andrea, i believe meeting by video conference, special envoy, holbrook, not so nice things said about in the "rolling stone" article. if what i'm read sing true he has been in touch with the pakistani folks that don't want general mcchrystal to leave. karzai said clearly yesterday and had video conference, i understand, with the president that he wants mcchrystal to stay. >> of course, hamid karzai, president karzai, has been supporting mcchrystal. mcchrystal is his link to the administration because karzai at times was not even on speaking terms with ambassador holbrook or ambassador eikenberry.
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that's the larger question of the dysfunction on this foreign policy team regarding the afghanistan strategy. and in -- you know, robert gates, secretary gates, secretary clinton have been strong supporters of general mcchrystal. that said, there is a lot of, you know, dysfunction on the teams, the people in the field, holbrook, who is not always that easy to -- in terms of his relationship was other in the field. that's been one of the continuing problems. if nothing else, this could be an opportunity to try to sort through some of those problem because we have more than 90,000 troops in the field. and this war is not going well, at least as far as richard engel, jim miklaszewski, and all of our reporting. >> i always want to bring in general mccalfry and jack jacobs. to her point, this dysfunction, this is not something new to anyone who is following this. even a little bit closely. whether it is the dysfunction on
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the ground, whether it is the dysfunction between the civilian and military which is nothing new in history. so i guess maybe a key question that still needs gsds on to be t here, is that a fair question s. >> yes. we all know ambassador is on our side and not the other side. he's difficult to deal with. we knew the confrontation between ambassador eikenberry and mcchrystal, we watched the difficulties of national security adviser jim jones had with his own white house. so there's -- there there is a challenge here, no question about it. having said all of that, the one that -- i will bet jack might join me in this, that really surprises me is the tone of in discipline, arrogance, and by a senior officer and his staff
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about their own chain of command. i'm surprised. >> all right. i want to ask jeff about that when we come back. we have to take a break go to a military man. thad allen, overseeing what's going on in the gulf. we have been watching pictures this morning from the deepwater horizon well that would seem to suggest a dramatic increase in oil. let's hear what thad allen has to say. >> watching their families. we know this is a devastating thing to happen. and we understand that the gulf shore's police department is following up on the death of the operator. with that, i'm pleased today to present a co-presenter with me. the departmentsy secretary of labor for osha. we have a number of questions over the last few weeks about worker safety. and exposure of workers to various types of hazard out there. i thought it would be informative for everybody about what we are doing together. a few weeks ago we signed an mou between the department of labor and osha and national incident commander how we would work together moving forward. it has been a strong team moving
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and i would like to introduce him right now. thank you. >> thank you, admiral. i'm going spend a few minutes talking about what osha has been doing and how they have been working with the incident command, other government agencies to protect workers that are cleaning up the oil spill. both on the land and sea. osha has been involved in protecting workers on this oil spill since the last week of april. since we immediately anticipated that workers were going to be mobilized to work on the clean sxwrup would possibly be exposed to a number of health and safety hazards. osha personnel were deployed to the gulf the last week of april. we have had a presence at every staging area in louisiana and mississippi. alabama and florida. and we are on the ground monitoring health and safety conditions. including doing air monitoring and air sampling. we are also -- also have been on the vessels of opportunity. again, observing health and safety conditions there. doing air sampling as well. we have over -- almost 150 people in the gulf area.
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and at this point 25 of whom are assigned 100% of their time to the gulf cleanup operation and we are bringing you -- bringing in a couple of dozen more as well. we have also been involved from the beginning with bp and with the command on the training that -- workers are going to need. we have been preparing and working with other groups to prepare educational materials and in a variety of languages, engli english, spanish, vietnamese. basically we have been aggressively assuring bp and the contractors, everyone working down there, are complying with health and safety standards and with any kind of safe working conditions. including being supplied with the appropriate personal protective equipment which may include gloves and coveralls and certain cases respirators. we have been taking samples again of worker chemical exposures on the beaches and swamps, on the boats, everywhere the workers are. and i will just let you know we can discuss this more we have
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found no exposure levels to any chemicals of any concern. the main problem we have been seeing down there, main concern we had for worker health and safety has to do with heat. as you know, people are working in remember high heat conditions. very often working with chemical protective suits, gloves, which exacerbate it is heat problem. we have had a number of incident we had to deal with, with eat. including some hospitalizations. so we are very concerned about that. in conjunction with the -- fatigue problems in the long hours people are working. right now when we find problem weers bringing them up immediately with bp. >> there are a couple of important things that came out of the briefing already. one is that two people who have died, who are out working to fix this spill, two fatalities today. the second thing -- you can look
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at the pictures. they look different to us this morning. so -- we got our experts on it trying to figure out what was going on and we just learned the discovery horizon removed the containment cap. i want to go to professor overton. what's going on under water? >> a lot more oil going into the environment. that's what you expect when you remove the containment cap. >> they are saying that -- they are going to check the cap. if none, they will reinstall the cap. how much of a concern is it? >> it is a big concern because -- the containment system would remove, you know, upwards of 50% of the oil. so now that oil is going straight into the environment. you know, 50,000, 60,000 barrel a day, a lot of oil. it can be removed by the containment cap is that much better. hopefully they can get the system back on land very soon. >> if there are it will take longer? >> if there are hydrates, they
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will have to clean those up. that's what stopped the previous effort up. they are going to have to go in there and check for high dre's and make sure the system is open. i suspect they know how to do that easily. load some -- back down from the surface and clean the line out. then they can reinsert the top kill. >> is that a matter of hours? matter of days? >> i think talking hours at best. nothing happens real quickly when you are operating remotely from a mile away. s as a minimum, you are talking hours. >> let me ask you finally because this obviously super bowl a tragedy occurred there. two people died. we don't know what happens. tell us a little bit, professor, about the particular dangers of what those workers are facing right now. >> the heat down here is hard to describe. it is 95 degrees. 95% relative humidity. >> go ahead. we lost you for a minute.
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could you start that again? you were talking about the heat being so oppressive. >> the heat is oppressive. 95 degrees, 95% relative humidity. you cannot even move. bat your eyes and you start sweating. it is not surprising that we could be having problems. i'm devastating to hear there were fatalities. heat stress is a gigantic -- it is way above the exposure to the oil issue in a lot of the cases. when you are in a lot of the -- the oil, you need to wear protective clothing. some of the people on the beach probably ned dwroyr more about heat stress than protective clothing. >> all right. lsu professor ed overton. thanks very much to you. for that expertise. one of the two big stories we are following now that containment camp has been taken off. you can see how much more oil is spewing into the gulf. they will try fix that. we don't know whether there's that hydrate problem that will delay it. right now the -- national security team meeting, decision not yet made about the future of
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general stanley mcchrystal. between don't know if the president made that decision. there has been talk earlier he would come out and talk to us later today. but we don't know if he will make that decision today. what is the fate of stanley mcchrystal? of course, the bigger question here, what does it mean for the future of the war in afghanistan. we will talk more about white we come back. air... and in our factories. to find cleaner, more efficient ways to power flight. and harness our technology... for new energy solutions. around the globe, the people of boeing are working together, to build a better tomorrow. that's why we're here. ♪ when i signed on with the national guard, i did it to help protect america from our enemies, like in the persian gulf. not to clean up an oil company's mess here
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we are getting breaking news as we are watching thad allen brief being the latest in the gulf. two deaths reported in the spill response. one was a worker in gulf shores. another on vessel of opportunity and operator there. obviously very sad news about that. we also have gotten con furmation that the containment cap was removed and we can see
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just in the pictures how much more oil is spewing into the gulf. this comes just as they said they had their most successful day yesterday at containing this oil p they were bringing in more oil to the surface. less of it going you on. then you have this problem there. apparently with the hydrates gases and they have to check this out and see how long could be a matter of hours. could be longer. but a problem with the containment cap, we will continue to listen to admiral thad allen and let you know what's going on with that. in the meantime you have the huge meeting going on with the national security team. they meet all the time about afghanistan. this is a regular meeting. there is nothing regular about what is going on right now. this guy just getting into the suv a couple of hours ago. after a 20 to 30-minute meeting with the president, general stanley mcchrystal. and the decision yet to be made as far as we know by the president about whether or not he is going to keep his job overseeing the war in
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afghanistan. we are coming to talk to general mccaffrey. general mccaffrey was making a point he was surprised, colonel, by the tone of the comments. that incivility. is that part of what the president is deciding here, is this just something that's at the very least indiscreet? and very unfortunate? or is this insubordination? >> well, it is -- i would -- i would fire general mcchrystal, to be honest with you. it indicates a disdain not necessarily for the president of the united states because that's irrelevant. but important the chain of command. for civilian control. there problems within the administration. you could look at it as -- as something of the anarchy in many respects. you have the secretary of state pursuing a policy, national security adviser trying to get his toe in the door. military establishment which is the default on -- the i default
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of foreign policy. you have -- ambassador eikenberry working his agenda. holbrook working his agenda. there are lot of independent contractors and no central -- no central control coming from the white house. and i'm sure that that is -- extremely frustrating to somebody like general mcchrystal who is trying to carry out policy. and who in many respects does not necessarily agree with the way the president of the united states is running things. mcchrystal is five levels down in the chain of come sxand has no business engendering that level of incivility among his staff. >> look, there's one thing we could all agree on, general. the constitution says the civilians control the military. there is a guy called the commander in chief. that's what the constitution says. and yet, this is hardly the first time in history where we have had this push and pull between the civilian commanders
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and the military commanders. we know that the president already went into this. one of the criticisms of him is he didn't have military experience. all of that aside, does taking general mcchrystal out and put something one else in move us forward into closing that gap between clearly is a disconnect between the civilian and military side here? >> well, i don't know. look, i -- i don't believe this is actually a case of insubordination. i think you have a case of extremely bad judgment allowing our reporter inside the bubble. then you have a battle staff that sounds like they were not up to task of running a theater of operations. it sounds like a range of -- talking badly about the tanking next door. i don't think that mcchrystal is going to be a problem to follow orders of commander in chief at all. but i think you have a -- a case, though, where he has done political damage to the
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administration. and his allies. and the -- his ability to coordinate policy. it is a problem. >> coordinate policy. yet, you have the leaders in pakistan and -- apparently who are talking to special envoy holbrook. you have hamid karzai. how much of a concern is that to you that you have someone here on stanley mcchrystal, somebody that's developed a day-to-day relationship with these folks? if -- the goal here is to get a stable government in afghanistan, how much of a concern is that? >> well, it is a bug concern. i mean, there's no question about mcchrystal not only an unbelieverably effective battle leader. but he has done very well at -- pursuing a relationship with the -- both the afghan and pakistani governments. look, having said that, it is the power of the united states we are talking about. the big issue isn't some of these wounded feelings in the white house or in the battlefield. it is -- how's the war going and what should we do?
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so the commander in chief has a political judgment to make, what's he going to do moving forward and by way in the background is that the deadline is next summer, does that make sense? is it achievable? or are we watching a train headed towards the edge of the cliff? >> yes. against the backdrop of nato is heading for what could be the deadliest month in june ever in the history of this. 43 americans killed. member we will be talking about. how is this war going? how does it play into the decision? general mccalf i have here and colonel jack jacobs. gentlemen, thank you so much. we can take a look at a live picture at the white house where we are waiting to hear whether president obama will keep general mcchrystal. that decision can change the course of the war in afghanistan. we are talking live p 30 year navy representative joe sestak. also, totally different news. can we say something good now?
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happy? positive? team usa is still in the game in the world cup. fans are going crazy. the u.s. won their critical game. they advance to the next round. so did the brits. we have it all here. woman: i just joined extracare advantage for diabetes at cvs/pharmacy. i'm taking the right steps to manage my diabetes and my budget. extracare advantage for diabetes is a new program that helps me save money and earn double bucks on over 100 items, so we can stay a step ahead of... all: our diabetes! join extracare advantage for diabetes today and receive a free gift when you enroll. only at cvs/pharmacy. i'm darryl willis. i oversee bp's claims process on the gulf coast. bp has got to make things right and that's why we're here. we're replacing the lost income for fishermen, small businessmen and others who aren't able to work until the spill is cleaned up. we've agreed to create a $20 billion claims fund,
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♪ now when you open and fund an account, you'll get 200 commission-free trades. fidelity investments. turn here. ♪ football hall of famer lawrence taylor has been indipted by a grand jury on rape charges. l.t. was arrested may 6 at a holiday inn. prosecutors say he paid a 16-year-old $300 for sex. taylor denies the charges. his lawyer den d not immediately respond when asked for a comment today. the district attorney says that taylor threatened to hurt the 16-year-old girl. we will keep you posted on that developing story. bad news on the home front. sales of new homes collapsed in may. plummeting a whopping 33% to the
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lowest level on record. the reason for the huge drop-off simple and no tax credit. fewer sales. potential buyers stopped shopping for homes once they couldn't get that tax relief which could total up to $8,000 per home for first-time buyers. yes, we can. the u.s. advanced to next round of the world cup. defeating algeria. 1-0. this game was thrilling. the u.s. team captain scored the winning goal, last minute, regulation time. former president bill clinton was there on hand to celebrate. let me tell you, people went crazy. he's, by the way, bill clinton, honorary chairman of the u.s. bid to host the world cup in 2018 or 20 2022. next round, do we know who we are playing in the next round? the uk won, too. >> uk is through, too. i don't know if we play the uk. we might have to next round. >> all right. we are going to find out about that. the good news is we finally won.
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we tie, we tie, finally we win. by the way, had we tied and were tied up until, obviously, that last minute, we would have been gone. so the team usa lives on. >> evening wloond have, too, had they not scored and won 1-0 against slovenia. both of us kept ourselves live by scoring one goal apiece. >> jack jacobs, i love that. you know something about everything. let's talk about his area of expertise which is, obviously, stanley mcchrystal. should he stay or should he go? that is the question. as this meet sing going on right now, at the white house. the national security team is together. the top u.s. commander in afghanistan did meet with president obama for about half an hour at the white house this morning. and explaining those scathing published comments about the war. let's go to richard engel, nbc's chief foreign correspondent. and -- just before the break, we were talking to general barry mccaffrey. he said all of this has to be looked at in the context of where we are in the war now.
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we could be headed for nato's deadliest month ever in june and in the war. we obviously have major problems there as we search to get a stable government with corruption. somebody who has been there time and time again. where are we in this war? >> it is not just a certain much now to have a stable government. there's an effort under ty create a government that's effective in any way, shape or form. large parts of afghanistan are still not under the control of the government in and part of this purpose of the surge is to create local officials who are in some way accountable, some way connected to their local communities. so the -- in a sense you are not just trying to build up a central government. you are trying to build thousands of little government, community elders and community leaders who have any kind of impact on society here. it is starting from scratch almost. >> on one hand, have you this increase in violence.
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where are we with the other, to defeat al qaeda and the taliban. >> defeat al qaeda is going -- according to military official, pretty well. that's really the counterterrorism side of things. there have been many, many air strikes, both here and in pakistan. drone attacks that have decimated a lot of the al qaeda leaders. the dash counterinsurgency strategy fighting the tabl, trying to build up the government as an alternative to the taliban, that has been going. slower. even slower than expected. everyone said without it take a long time but now commanders say that it will be a year before we know if that's actually having any traction. >> jeff, becomes us back to what we were talking about, what this has done, focused on is the counterinsurgency the right thing to do. whatever the president decides, whether general mcchrystal stays or does he go, whoever is in the country or whether the general mcchrystal goes back in the country is the key thing here. they have to go back knowing
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exactly what the strategy is and -- the not so easy task of making sure everybody is on the same page. >> that's the most important point and the fact is, it has seen for some i am as if we have a bunch of independent contractors following their own paths. eikenberry, mcchrystal, so on. one of things that this has put into sharp focus, incident with mcchrystal, it rises to the top of the pile. the notion that there has to be some concerted effort to weld all this stuff together and into one cohesive mass. >> one of the things i'm sure you teach at west point is -- you can go in and make your arguments but once a decision is made, military decision is made, you follow orders. >> well, that's true. have you it -- we are taught you tell the commander whatever you want to before the decision is made. as a matter of fact, you are always solicited to think outside of the box. look, we always want our good ideas, novel ideas, and success
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always comes from novel ideas. once the boss makes a decision, and issues his orders and instructions, unless the order is immoral or illegal, never supposed to follow. then you have to salute and carry it out. whatever you can't have is -- either the reality or even the appearance of being not is portative of the boss. once you do that, the whole chain of command falls apart. not just above you but also below you as well. >> perception can become reality. thank you so much. we have so much going on. we have to pay bills but i want to tell you a couple of things. we are going to continue to talk about this. when they start coming out of there, maybe we will get intel about what's going on. how close the president may be to a decision. and we are also getting word, the two workers who died, one on land and one out in the gulf of mexico at that oil spill. police are investigating one of those deaths. what's that all about? lot going on. keep it here on msnbc.
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we are back live here at msnbc headquarters waiting for word on the state of general stanley mcchrystal. will he be able to keep his job? right now a key meeting going on at the white house. the national security team. it followed two other key meetings. general stanley mcchrystal's first this morning going to the pentagon. and talking to the defense secretary. and then heading to the white house for a meeting in a half hour with the president. we are back with general mccaffrey, and from washington, mark whitaker. our washington bureau chief. and general mccaffrey, when everything is disstilled down to its essence, what's the question you want the president to be asking himself when he is make thing decision? >> bhaes important the war efforts, you know. he is in a -- an immensely responsible position. right now i'm he is explaining in that meeting either what his decision was or more likely asking for their input.
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does he go with somebody that's -- you know, damages his own ability to act on a leadership role? does he keep this first rate fighting general in place and bust up his staff. it is hard to know what the best outcome is for the war effort or the president. >> general, thank you so much. i want to go to richard engel in kabul. i have been told you have been working the phones. what are you getting from there? some i just spoke with someone that's very close to general mcchrystal. he didn't have any specific information on what the president might decide. but he gave me a context in order of understanding what kind machb general mcchrystal is. what he might likely do in this scenario. my source said he was confident given the circumstances, given the -- all that happened, it would be general mcchrystal that would go to the president and say here's my resignation, take it. i cannot go back to this job. i have embarrassed you and i have embarrassed your position. and that he wouldn't try to
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fight for his job in any way. that he would actually not accept continuing on. he's that kind of a stand-up person according to this -- the person i just spoke to. also, he describes he didn't think this was a really fair article. that a lot of times when you are out of -- on a combat outpost or when you are with your staff and letting loose, you do make disparaging comments about people you work with. he fell that some of those comments were exaggerated. there is a great sympathy for people who know general mcchrystal and they described this as a personal tragedy that such an illustrious career is being brought down by a magazine article. >> mark whitaker, this is a president that likes to consider things very carefully. i don't think that we can overstate how important this decision what what its implications are. what are you hearing? are we going to get a decision today?
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are we going to hear from the president today? >> we don't know that yet. what we do nknow, the president is looking at it in the largest context in the strategy of afghanistan. there has been a lot of attention to what this "rolling stone" article says about mcchrystal's indiscrease comments. but i think there hasn't been enough attention to what is said elsewhere in the article. about the fact that mcchrystal's counterinsurgency strategy which he sold to the white house is failing. so the real question is today no only what did the president say to mcchrystal but what's going on in the strategy review and are they starting to question whether the surge, at least it is a president laid it out, several months ago in fact, will work. >> all right. thanks very much, mark. we are going to take a quick break. congressman sestak will be with us. we will ask him. he is not just in the u.s. congress but longtime military veteran. get his opinion on what's going on today inside that meeting and
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what the president should do. you are watching msnbc. ♪ well, if you come from the hood ♪ ♪ or ya come from the burbs ♪ got the fellas up in here tonight ♪ ♪ ♪ we at the block party having fun ♪ ♪ ♪ well, look who's here. it's ellen. hey, mayor white. how you doing? great. come on in. would you like to see our new police department? yeah, all right. this way. and here it is. completely networked. so, anything happening, suz? she's all good. oh, my gosh. is that my car? [ whirring ] [ female announcer ] the new community. see it. live it. share it. on the human network. cisco.
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as far as we mo meet sing still going on with the national security team. and obviously the key question here is what is going to happen to general stanley mcchrystal. he met this morning with the president. we have had absolutely no indication that president obama has made a decision about this. general mcchrystal, of course, was summoned to the white house after his comments were published in "rolling stone" magazine. the reporter who broke this story tells nbc news that you should hear what else mcchrystal had to say. >> there was even things that were said to me off the record that dprint -- that there were even more inflammatory if people want to call the comments inflammatory. >> the highest ranking veteran in congress, retired three-star admiral, congressman, thanks very much for joining us. what do you imagine is going on in that national security
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meeting right now? >> i'm sure they are debating the strategy, how well it will have to work in order to achieve what we wanted to. without a question, the president made a decision, i thi think, in letting them know, one, we have a general that broke the military code. where you go into someone's room and senior to you and you might let them know that you don't like the cut of their jib. when you step outside, you -- you don't talk about him and demand the same of your troops. general mcchrystal broke that. at the same time, this president has to make a decision. that a man who was very integral in developing this strategy as we are about -- on an offensive in kandahar, how needed is he for the mission? that is the decision this president has to make. the good of the mission versus what is absent of that would be cause for his dismessal. >> as the highest ranking
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military man in the u.s. congress, seeing what happened didn't go the way we wanted it to, knowing what is at stake, going into kandahar, and what decision do you think you would make? >> i don't know what i would make. i'm going to be up front about that. i served at the national security council for president clinton. i saw decisions being made to almost go to war with north korea. we moved carriers off of taiwan and we went into bosnia. until you sit in that seat, all of us out here can say what we can do. but until you sit there, you really don't know. i do believe this. this strategy which the president articulated best a year ago in march was supposed to be focused and as i said times before upon pakistan, not afghanistan, where al qaeda is and that the purpose he told us then was to have a series of metrics, bench marks, by which we could measure success and
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failure. i supported the president in his decision. but i think that he's -- we focused so much on afghanistan and rather than being able to articulate to the public that's investing in this strategy and is it working against al qaeda which is the threat to us, pakistan. >> let me ask you specifically about pakistan. one of the things we heard this morning was that pakistani officials are saying that they want general mcchrystal to stay. he's built these relationships with people in pakistan on a day-to-day basis. as you have to take all of the different competing interests, you have to weigh what is most important, what's not, how much importance do you give to his relationship with the people who are leading pakistan. >> chris, you said it decree well. you don't dismiss this. because the whole purpose, as secretary gates said, primary purpose in a closed hearing before the house, said to have
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troops there set surge to help seal the border with pakistan so as we can convince pakistan to go after the al qaeda because we can't simply go there, they will feel as though the impact into afghanistan, that truck, this general -- that trust thing general has built has to be considered. general powell said something very important. he said once restraint is the characteristic most admired in man. unfortunately, chris, that's not so in politics. i hope the president is making this decision and i believe he will as a commander in chief that gives regard to the relationships for the mission because, quite frankly, this was wrong what he did. you about remember, president reagan made it very clear over the head of the omb, taken him to the outhouse and then proceeded on the mission. that is a delicacy of this decision, not politics. is he necessary or not or can general mattis or someone else step in and do just as well? and only the commander in chief
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can make that decision. that's what he is paid for. not politics. doing the right thing and he can -- he is the only one. i won't judge him for. >> it congressman sestak, we thank you for your expertise and time today. we are just getting word that the president has thrown out his schedule this afternoon. he had a couple of planned events. he will no longer being going to them. at 1:30 eastern time, just a little more than 40 minutes from now, he will go to the rose garden and he will address the nation. we don't know if it is going to be a decision. it will be surprising if he came in without a decision. we may know within an hour what the future is of general stanley mcchrystal. we can talk about the plim i indications for the war in afghanistan. very important decisions being made right now in washington, d.c. we are going to continue to follow them for you. one other item we just want to get to right now. and that is although it is still an experimental stages, researchers say a new melanoma drug could be a seismic shift in
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cancer treatment. dermatologist jeanine downing joins me for today's "be well, be healthy report." tell us about the drug. >> this is an antibody. it is a drug that is made up from living cells. think about it as a protein that attach tows white blood cells. it helps to fight off the cancer that way. it only works in 20 to 30% of people. about 70,000 people have melanoma. 9,000 die from melanomas here in the united states. we are talking about 20% to 25% of those. >> pretty significant. >> it clears it out. we are not sure why it works with some people and why did it usn't work with other people. think about it with hyperstimulating the immune sis pep. what's happening, side effects, autoimmune disease, triggered rheumatoid arthritis, not the usual thickness, anything like that. it is a huge breakthrough. >> thank you. we are going to be back once again at 1:30, statement in the rose garden from the president
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of the united states. we are going to talk more. what's it look like, what are the indications. stanley mcchrystal, does he stay or does he go? we will be right back. vegetables are naturally low in calories. v8 juice gives you 3 of your 5 daily servings. it's a tasty, nutritious way to make this number go up... and help this one go down. v8. what's your number? hey! [ tires screech ] [ female announcer ] when business travel leaves you drained, re-charge with free high-speed internet and free hot breakfast. comfort suites. power up. two times with comfort suites or any choice hotel, you can feed a family of four. book now at choicehotels.com to start earning your $50 restaurant gift card. and get this year's colors up on the wall...this year.
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breaking news. we haven't seen seen this issue of "rolling stone" magazine. but the article came out. quoting general stanley mcchrystal and his team and now we are probably just 35 minutes away from finding out his fate. let's bring in the report for "the wall street journal" who is at the white house for us. coming out to the rose garden, we have to assume he will tell us what the fate is of stanley mcchrystal. >> we can't have -- the four-star general, head of afghanistan operation, twisting in the wind. he has to make a decision and make it zblou do we have any indication of who is the influencer here? what was critical in the decisionmaking process?
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anything yet? >> reporter: what we know -- last night, they are talking up the idea that this wasn't going to be about name calling. it was going to be weather stanley mcchrystal could go back to afghanistan and lead the mission and whether they are all still on the same page. and if the president thinks that they are, he could stay. but things are not looking good right now. >> thank you. we will be going back to the white house live, of course, for the president's statement. that will do it for me. i'm chris jansing. up next andrea mitchell reports. see will be talking to former defense secretary william cohen as well as joe leashman and bill nelson and she will have live the president's statement from the rose garden. a man can only try... and try...and try. [ male announcer ] honey nut cheerios tastes great and can help lower cholesterol. bee happy. bee healthy. ♪ bee happy. bee healthy. we're part of nature, and as we destroy nature, we destroy ourselves.
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